Souths in NRL turmoil: Holmes a Court - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Souths in NRL turmoil: Holmes a Court

By David Beniuk and Steve Jancetic 29/05/2006 07:29:39 PM Comments (0)

Incoming South Sydney boss Peter Holmes a Court admits the club is in turmoil but is confident of turning the Rabbitohs' on-field performances around.

As the fall-out from Sunday's 44-4 loss to the West Tigers continued, Rabbitohs coach Shaun McRae called for centre Adam MacDougall to be punished for publicly criticising his teammates.

"Our goal is not to let the turmoil get in the way of solid progress in what we're trying to achieve," Holmes a Court said when asked about the side's 11 straight losses in 2006.

"Our fans know that the process of change won't be days, it will be a long and steady process."

Holmes a Court, who will take the reins at the club on June 7, said he backed McRae and his football staff.

"Let me tell you something that's changed already, the culture of this organisation in the past was that whenever a situation like this arose, some sacrificial lamb would be sacked," he said.

"That culture's gone."

And the new Rabbitohs chief said he was confident he could deliver quality players from July 1 when the NRL's anti-tampering period expires.

"We go out there with a united board, last year we had a divided board," he said.

"Last year we had a $1 million deficit, this year we've got $4 million positive on our balance sheet.

"Last year (chief executive) Shane Richardson was there by himself, this year we've got Shane with (2007 assistant coach) Jason Taylor, (recruitment manager) Mark Hughes, (premier league coach) Mark Ellison, Peter Holmes a Court and (Hollywood actor) Russell Crowe all out there doing the job to retain the players we want and recruit the players we want."

On a day punters were asked to write their own ticket on a Souths premiership in 2006 by betting agency Centrebet, the club signed former Cronulla fullback David Peachey for the remainder of the season after he was sacked by English club Widnes earlier this month.

But the talking point was centre MacDougall, whom McRae said would be punished for his remarks.

"It's totally unacceptable for a player to come out and publicly criticise his teammates," McRae told the Nine Network.

Chief executive Shane Richardson said he had not yet spoken with MacDougall about his comments.

Meanwhile the men in charge of the side when it was last mired in a double-figure losing streak say the club has made little progress since its NRL return in 2002.

Souths last lost 11 straight matches between round 11 in 2002 and round four in 2003 under coaches Craig Coleman and Paul Langmack, both of whom were eventually sacked by the club.

Coleman said the club had gone "not very far at all" since winning its way back into league's top flight.

"To be honest probably only about three of them would make any other first grade team," Coleman said.

He said he didn't have confidence in the Rabbitohs' recruitment and retention ability, but added without Crowe's pull "we'd have no hope".

"Look at what we bought this year and I just hope we don't buy players whose best football is behind them," he said.

"I'm just concerned, is anyone going to go there?

"They need to go and get five or six real decent first-graders, like dead-set first-graders and get them in a room together ... that's the only way you're going to get them, you're not going to get them one by one."

Langmack, who took over from Coleman in 2003, said the club had "gone backwards".

"Just have a look at the scores," Langmack said.

"I feel sorry for Craig Coleman. He got sacked after two losses and a draw, how do you think he feels?"

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